pokemon has been a lifelong interest of mine! i have loved it ever since i was a very small child, and still love it as an adult. it's one of the few interests i have that has stayed strong for years and years, and i don't see it going away any time soon. there are so many things that appeal to me; the idealistic and happy world, the interesting characters, the music, beautiful art and character designs, and obviously everything about the pokemon. collecting creatures is very appealing to me, and especially in games where you can bond with them and pet them!! i know the pokemon formula has been repeated over and over again by this point, but there's a sort of nostalgic comfort in the pokemon pattern. i don't think i will ever get tired of choosing my new starter and going on an adventure to be the very best. i have played almost all of the mainline games, save for the original gold/silver/crystal, the original ruby/sapphire/emerald, and firered/leafgreen. i'll emulate those someday when i have the time!! (i actually played pokemon yellow on an old gameboy! it was a very fun experience!) whether or not i've actually beat them all is a different story... but surely you can forgive a young child for being bad at video games, right?
pokemon has probably been a part of my life since before i can remember, after all, there are plenty of old pokemon drawings i made that i have no recollection of. my memories however go back all the way to pokemon diamond and pearl. it's fuzzy, but i remember playing around on diamond and pearl... both of them. sometimes i would play on my own save file, and sometimes i would take my dad's DS and play with his powerful post-game pokemon. i wasn't very good at the game, i was very very young, but i still had fun running around... and cheating. confession: close to none of the pokemon games i played were legal copies. my dad had two cycloDS evolution cards that he would just download games onto if we asked nicely enough. those games came with cheats! i couldn't beat the game normally, i wasnt old or smart enough, so i would turn on a number of cheats to break the game and see what i could do. sometimes i would ask my dad to help me hack in a full team of shiny level 100 legendary pokemon. he would lightly chide me and explain that level 100 was excessive, and they wouldn't obey if i made them too strong. he was right. maybe it wasn't the most "authentic" experience, but i had a great time. strange as it may sound, that's why sinnoh will always be my favorite region. nostalgia isn't the most sound reason, i get it, but i'm not writing an argumentative essay, i'm making a fan page for a video game.
my next games, if i recall correctly, were pokemon heartgold and soulsilver. i think i had heartgold on one dubiously legal cartridge, and my younger brother had soulsilver on the other. (though if you asked me today, i would choose soulsilver!) by this point i had more or less stopped cheating and tried beating the game the good old fashioned way. i still wasn't quite old enough to have this pokemon thing figured out, but the memories i made and fun i had were not even a bit lesser than the diamond and pearl days. my starter was a cyndaquil named banana, though i ended up changing it to something else that i can't remember later down the line. i loved that you could have pokemon follow you. i felt like i could connect with my team in a way i didn't really get to before! while i never managed to beat the game and catch ho-oh, i must have been able to make more progress than i could before. i remember going into the team rocket headquarters in disguise, and taking a photo as a team rocket grunt in the goldenrod underground. (good thing this team rocket thing will not drastically impact my life later down the line) i even remember having an encounter with raikou, though i did not catch it. it was also around this time i found out about this strange little "pokemon mystery dungeon" thing, but i think that deserves a page all on its own...
of course after generation four ended, generation five begun! my dad sat my brother and i down and gave us (again, dubiously legal) copies of pokemon black and white. black for me, and white for my brother. i opened up the game and was shocked that they had added fakemon to the game! my father corrected me, informing me that these were new pokemon. the revelation blew my seven year old brain. i think this was the first time i actually grasped the whole pokemon generations thing. my starter was a snivy named cheren (for some reason) and with him by my side, i took on the new challenge! pokemon black is the very first pokemon game that i was able to beat fair and square, so i remember it very fondly. i even continued to play the game into the post game and capture kyurem. i don't remember the story very well, so it's very high on my list of games to replay. i played a bit of the sequels, although i don't think i really realized they were actual sequels, not remakes, so i never really finished them.
pokemon Y i suppose is significant as it was my first actually legally purchased game... i enjoyed it, by this point was old enough to beat pokemon games, and so i beat this one too. the highlight of X and Y was of course the ability to feed and pet your pokemon, and really bond with them! i also greatly enjoyed the social aspect. because so many of my friends my age played it too, i was able to battle and trade with them. i still think fondly of when my classmate challenged me to a battle, insisted i could never win against him, and proceeded to lose very badly to me. following Y, i got alpha sapphire where i caught my very first shiny pokemon, a shiny oddish named zim! (yes!! after invader zim.) i actually got stuck on that one and couldn't figure out how to continue. i guess i'm just bad at video games? then i got pokemon moon as a christmas present! the way they shook up the formula was really fun and interesting to me, and i only appreciate it more and more as i get older. the addition of regional forms is still my very favorite gimmick by a landslide, and it's one of the things i really look forward to whenever they release a new game. when i beat this game for the first time, i was out at a family event with no chargers. i got to the credits, and my ds died. i was very upset about it LOL but i went back later on to beat the game again. my next game was let's go eevee as a christmas gift!
unfortunately after this, i hit sort of a slump in my interest. i didn't buy sword and shield, even though i had been excited at their announcement. high school and life were so difficult that i didn't really have any time or energy left to invest into pokemon like i used to. i appreciated it, for sure, and enjoyed it casually, but i didn't have that same love for it that i already did... okay so enough of that obviously this page exists and obviously i got back into it. i got the pokemon mystery dungeon remakes as a 2020 christmas gift. two months later, the announcement of sinnoh remakes pokemon brilliant diamond and shining pearl did something evil to my brain and unleashed a long-dormant pokemon obsessed beast within me. i ended up stealing my brother's copy of pokemon shield (with his permission. i'm not that mean.) though i agree that it's not the greatest pokemon game, it's still very special to me as being the first game i played after a long long time. playing it kept me sane during a tough summer job and rough first semester of college, and i still love to camp and battle with my friends! college was also the first time that i ever watched the pokemon anime. that might be a surprise, seeing how much i loved pokemon as a kid, but for a number of reasons i never actually got to watch it. i loved the indigo league anime for that nostalgic distinctly 90s feel, the humor, and the... characters. i got shining pearl for christmas, and bought legends arceus for myself the day after it released, which was super fun.
the latest releases in the franchise are pokemon scarlet and violet. i ended up buying myself pokemon scarlet on release day, and i went with sprigatito as my starter! i have to say i have sort of mixed feelings about these games. i think the open-world environment is a really interesting direction, and i think that the story was intriguing and fun. that being said, i think this game had a similar issue to sword and shield; it just wasn't given enough time. it's very buggy, and a lot of areas feel very empty and unpolished. i had a lot of fun, but it leaves me a little worried about the future of pokemon games. i'm not getting the DLC this time, but i hope people have fun with it! for now, all i can really do is hope that the next projects of the pokemon company will be done more carefully.